In December 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 410 to encourage and support a preventative approach to excessive absences and truancy. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, several changes take effect. Schools cannot suspend or expel students for missing too much school. Districts will amend or adopt policies that outline their interventions and plans for students who miss too much school.
Habitual truant refers to a child of compulsory school age who is absent from school without legitimate excuse for the following number of hours:
- 30 or more consecutive hours or
- 42 or more hours in one school month or
- 72 or more hours in a school year
School Districts shall file a complaint in juvenile court on the 61st day after implementation of an absence intervention plan if all of the following apply:
- The student has unexcused absences of 30+ consecutive hours, 42+ hours in one month, or 72+ hours in a school year
- The district has made meaningful attempts to reengage the student through the absence intervention plan or other intervention strategies and alternatives to adjudication
- The student has refused to participate in or failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan, strategies, or alternatives
If the student has absences as noted above, but the absence intervention team determines that the student has made “substantial progress” according to the plan, the school shall not file a complaint in juvenile court.